The Hidden Benefits of Upgrading Your Car's Air Filter

Discover how a simple air filter change can improve your car's performance and save you money in the long run.

The Hidden Benefits of Upgrading Your Car's Air Filter

As an expert in the automotive industry, I have seen firsthand the impact that a simple air filter change can have on a vehicle's performance. It may seem like a small and insignificant part, but the engine's air filter plays a crucial role in the overall functioning of a car. Not only can it increase power and torque, but it can also improve fuel efficiency and reduce the need for frequent filter replacements. According to vehicle manufacturers, it is recommended to change the engine filter at least once a year or as stated in the owner's manual. This is because over time, the filter can become clogged with dirt and debris, hindering the flow of air into the engine.

However, with advancements in technology and the availability of aftermarket filters, this recommendation may no longer hold true. Aftermarket filters, specifically high-flow air filters, offer several advantages over regular filters. They do not need to be changed as frequently, with a recommended cleaning every two years. This is due to their ability to provide better airflow and filtration of the air entering the engine. And as we all know, when an engine receives more air, it can perform better. In fact, studies have shown that a high-flow air filter can increase a vehicle's power by 3 to 5 horsepower and also improve torque.

This increase in power can also lead to better fuel efficiency. Some high-end filters even come equipped with a cold air intake unit, which draws in cooler air from outside the car instead of using hot air from within the engine compartment. Now let's get back to science class for a moment. Cold air is denser than hot air, meaning it burns better and improves engine performance. While these numbers may seem small and insignificant, they can make a noticeable difference in a vehicle's overall performance.

However, it is important to note that the increase in power may be due to a smaller number of filters, particularly in the case of cheaper options like the CarQuest filter. This is something that was not taken into consideration in previous studies. As an expert, I cannot stress enough the importance of routine maintenance on a vehicle. And one aspect that is often overlooked is the air filter. Similar to a vacuum cleaner, when a filter becomes dirty and clogged, it can significantly decrease a vehicle's power and performance.

This is why many companies in the aftermarket industry claim that their filters can increase power, torque, and acceleration. However, one crucial aspect that is often not tested is how well these aftermarket filters actually filter the air entering the engine compared to the original filter. If you have ever been to an auto parts store, you have probably seen air filter boxes boasting about increased power and torque compared to factory filters. In a recent study conducted by automotive journalist Jason Fenske, he tested four different air filters on a Subaru WRX. The first was the original air filter that had been used for thousands of kilometers, the second was a new OEM filter from Subaru, the third was a cheaper CarQuest replacement, and the last was a K&N air filter. While all four filters showed an improvement in performance compared to the original filter, Fenske also wanted to see how well they filtered the air. The results were surprising.

The aftermarket filters produced more horsepower than the original unit, with K&N filters showing the most significant increase at around four horsepower. However, they also allowed more dirt and contaminants to enter the engine. This brings up an important point about high-performance filters. While they may provide an increase in power and torque, they can also expose the engine to more dirt and debris. This can lead to potential damage and costly repairs in the long run. So, to answer the question of whether changing your air filter can increase horsepower, the answer is yes.

However, it is essential to consider the quality and effectiveness of the filter you choose. Whether you are looking to increase power, improve fuel efficiency, or simply reduce the hassle of frequent filter changes, a high-flow air filter can be a good option. Just make sure to do your research and choose a reputable brand that offers both performance and filtration.

Wilma Melen
Wilma Melen

Infuriatingly humble pizza specialist. Unapologetic communicator. Wannabe music buff. Passionate internet evangelist. Total travel scholar.

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